|WOODFORD RESERVE TURF CLASSIC S.|
Won at 7WOODFORD RESERVE TURF CLASSIC S.
(gr. IT , 9f , defeating Cowboy Cal, Court Vision, Zambezi Sun (GB), Thorn Song, Proudinsky (GER), El Caballo, Furthest Land, Yate's Black Cat ).
In one of the most exciting races on the Kentucky Derby undercard, two top handicap horses battled to the wire in the $557,600 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes (gr. IT), with Einstein earning a game head victory over Cowboy Cal.
With his fifth grade I triumph, the durable and versatile 7-year-old Einstein became the first repeat winner in the 23rd renewal of the 11Ú8-mile test over a Churchill Downs turf course rated ÒgoodÓ as a result of overnight rainfall. Trained by Helen Pitts-Blasi for Matthew Garretson, who is the court-appointed receiver for Midnight Cry Stable, Einstein improved his record to 11 wins from 25 starts, with earnings of $2,609,904.
ÒIÕm not going to say heÕs the best horse in the country,Ó Pitts-Blasi said. ÒIÕll let you know on Nov. 7. The BreedersÕ Cup (Classic, gr. I) is a possibility. But IÕm very proud of him today. HeÕs a special animal.Ó
Ridden by Julien Leparoux, Einstein was rated patiently in fifth position as Thorn Song led the field through the first three-quarters of a mile in 1:12.34. Six-wide entering the stretch, Einstein caught Cowboy Cal, who had been closely stalking the leader, and the stretch duel ensued. Cowboy Cal took a narrow lead, but Einstein edged out in deep stretch and held on for the victory, in final time of 1:49.62. It was 23Ú4 lengths back to Court Vision in third.
Bred in Brazil by Fazenda Mondesir, the son of 1985 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Spend a Buck out of Gay Charm has displayed his versatility as he has matured. He has now won graded stakes on artificial surfaces, the main track, and turf. Previous to his second consecutive Woodford Reserve victory, Einstein took a one-length victory in the March 7 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) on the Pro-Ride surface. In November he scored in the Clark Handicap (gr. II) on the Churchill Downs main track.
Einstein was purchased privately by trainer Ken McPeek for $60,000 on behalf of Midnight Cry Stable and has been trained throughout his career by Pitts-Blasi, a former McPeek assistant.
In addition to the Woodford Reserve and Big ÕCap, Einstein won the Gulfstream Park Turf Stakes (gr. IT) in 2008 en route to finishing second to champion Conduit in Eclipse Award voting for champion male turf horse.
Spend a Buck, Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male of 1985, died in Brazil in 2002 at age 20 after standing at stud in the U.S. and Brazil. He has been represented by 38 stakes winners.ÑR.M.
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